Category Thriller

BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE (2018)

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BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE (2018)

A review by Adam Lovett

Writer/Director: Drew Goodard
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Jon Hamm, Chris Hemsworth, Dakota Johnson, Cynthia Erivo, Lewis Pullman, Cailee Spaeny, Shea Wigham

“Shit happens, get the whisky.”

Let’s be clear, BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE is a movie made by movie lovers for movie lovers. That simple. The type of pulpy goodness that grooves me made by a filmmaker fluent in the language of cinema.

Right from the extended opening static shot that sets it all in motion its clear we are in the hands of professionals. Unashamedly B-movie fodder, it’s a playful, stylish neo-noir tale full of characters that talk like they are in a movie without being meta…except for when they slyly are.

Packing a vibrant Hitchcockian quality that’s like i...

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FILMFRAK EXCLUSIVE: THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF ANSE AND BHULE IN NO-MAN’S LAND INTERVIEW WITH BARRY HUNT

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Daniel Hill as Bhule and Garfield Wedderburn as Anse

FilmFrak Exclusive: THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF ANSE AND BHULE IN NO-MAN’S LAND Interview with Barry Hunt

In 2018 FilmFrak is proud to continue to play a part in introducing the world to new and emerging filmmaking talents that operate in the “no man’s land” outside of the established system.

For our premiere interview of the year it’s a pleasure to present our readers to Barry Hunt. Making his cinematic Directorial debut with the post-apocalyptic underground feature film THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF ANSE AND BHULE IN NO-MAN’S LAND Hunt is a stylistic creator that has delivered a contemplative and personal work that remains true to its intentions and avoids feeling familiar in the genre.

 Below we discuss the process of getting t...

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HIGH-RISE (2016)

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A Review by Adam Lovett

Director: Ben Wheatley

Starring:  Tom Hiddelston, Elizabeth Moss, Sienna Miller, Jeremy Irons, Luke Evans, James Purefoy, Peter Ferdinando

This hallucinatory societal allegory is savage visual poetry sure to repel some viewers. They don’t make them like this anymore. Not in the old fashion storytelling sense but something more cinematically experimental. Bold artistry that pushes the language of genre by connecting on a far more nerve twanging visceral level that abandons traditional narrative. Director Ben Wheatley (KILL LIST, SIGHTSEERS) makes HIGH-RISE a litmus test spiraling into a singular level of chaotic madness that demolishes equilibrium. I left the theatre shell shocked, numb with a feeling comparable to what a film like WAKE IN FRIGHT achieved.

The fi...

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THE WITCH (2016)

The Witch

The Witch

Writer/Director: Robert Eggers

Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Innerson, Katie Dick, Harvey Crimshaw, Lucas Dawson, Ellie Grainger

  “Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?”

First, let’s realign expectations to alleviate misconceptions. The hype machine packaging the 2015 Sundance hit THE WITCH has focused solely on the horror element of this multi-faceted experience. It’s understandable that in order to gain exposure and profit, a tiny production (the budget was around 3.5 million) must latch onto whatever momentum building advertising is exploitable. When horror master and recognizable brand name Stephen King tweets “The Witch scared the hell out of me. And it’s a real movie, tense and thought-provoking as well as visceral...

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Frakking Favourite 25 Films of 2015

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Frakking Favourite 25 Films of 2015

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Sicario Poster

The frakker saw 91 films in 2015 and though there were some outright duds (TERMINATOR GENYSIS, SELF-LESS, THE VISIT) and failed to meet expectations disappointments (EVEREST, TALES OF HALLOWEEN, TRAINWRECK) for the most part it was a golden year in cinema. That I had to make a top 25 and then add an additional 20 plus titles to the honorable mentions is proof of the good time that was had in the darkened movie house this past 12 months. Now the preamble is done, there is just one more thing that I need to get out of the way before we can begin….

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Stand alone favourite: STAR WARS; THE FORCE AWAKENS

Let’s be honest here, as a lifelong STAR WARS obsessed nut trying to be “objective” about the film franchise that made me a cinephile is as futi...

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From the Vault: A Scanner Darkly (2006)

Before I was the Fraker I was John Doe and like everything else in this universe all cinema itself is interconnected on a molecular level. Slowly over time I plan to import many of my older reviews over to this new site under the banner of FROM THE VAULT. The format is simple, anytime I review a film here and it can be thematically (actor, Director, narrative etc) linked to a previous critique from the old site I will be sharing. When a review or article can coincide with a real world event like a retro-screening, personal curiosity or current event can be reflected, transfers happen.

Scanner Darkly

Writer/Director: Richard Linklater

Novel: Phillip K Dick
Cinematography: Shane F Kelly
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Robert Downey Jnr, Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves, Rory Cochrane

“Alright, I’m gonna give you...

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EX MACHINA (2015)

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EX MACHINA (2015)

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Writer/Director: Alex Garland

Starring: Oscar Issac, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Sonoya Mizuno

How we process and integrate art, how it burrows into our subconscious is part of what makes us intrinsically human. It’s also what can give cinema the conjuring power to blur the lines between fiction and truth. Last Monday night I experienced this phenomena while attending a special advanced screening of the latest A.I. orientated science fiction film EX MACHINA.

To be clear this reaction wasn’t solely triggered by the film itself, (which I will address in a moment), but it was the audience members in attendance which included writer/Director Alex Garland along with MIT scientists and Google engineers, some who are currently developing artificial intelligence...

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It Follows (2015)

IT FOLLOWS (2015)

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It Follows Banner

Writer/Director: David Robert Mitchell

Starring: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Lili Sepe, Jake Weary, Daniel Zovatto

“It could look like someone you know or it could be a stranger in a crowd. Whatever helps it get close to you.”

I can’t get IT FOLLOWS out of my head. It’s a finely crafted horror that creeps under the skin with its high concept narrative hook serving as allegory. Ambiguous enough to inspire speculation without sacrificing narrative cohesion IT FOLLOWS is more of a sustained atmospheric suspense of dread than outright terrifying fear frightener. It’s a campfire yarn that exploits the power of suggestion by manipulating, embracing and subverting the tropes of the genre.

It Follows Maika Monroe

Where I went in completely blind aside from the positive buzz of lasts...

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The 87th Academy Awards: 2015 Oscar Selections

2015 Academy Award Nominees

The 87th Academy Awards: The Official Fraker 2015 Oscar Selections

 

The 87th Academy Awards Predictions

The 87th Academy Awards Predictions

It’s that time again where the Academy Awards buffer up against my obsessive cinematic addiction. It’s a date where my own adoration and love for the medium sees negativity hit its apex. It’s also a night where my own masochistic tendencies are in full view as a misguided sense of obligation to arguably the most meaningless and superficial of all the political awards shows sees me tuning in for inevitable torture.

As hard as I have tried since 1997 (the year I finally realized how little quality had to do with prize winners) I can never make it to the Best Picture announcement as the gossip magazine style approach just reaches unbearable levels...

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Top 30 Most Fraking Anticipated Films of 2015

Top 30 Most Fraking Anticipated Films of 2015

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2014 was a banner year in the Bender house in cinema and 2015 shows a James Leer level of promise. After some Lebowski like investigation (read into that what you will) I’ve managed to detect 54 attractions that put a twinkle in my eye of varied brightness. Of those discoveries, 24 could be labeled wild card’s which leaves the magic 30 that I now present to you the reader with the proviso that they stimulate my own sensibilities and I hope yours too.

As the calendar year has already begun note worthy omissions from this list include the magnificence that is Paul Thomas Anderson’s detective yarn INHERENT VICE which I’ve been fortunate enough to already experience. (Subtle subtext I know...

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